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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon among channels DirecTV may lose

SpongeBob SquarePants
DirecTV subscribers could lose such popular shows as "SpongeBob SquarePants" as early as midnight tonight due to its contractual impasse with Viacom. (Nickelodeon / July 10, 2012)

DirecTV subscribers may lose popular channels owned by Viacom Inc. including MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon as early as Wednesday if the two companies are unable to come to terms on a new distribution deal.

Viacom said on its website that its current contract with DirecTV expires at midnight Tuesday and no agreement is near.

"Despite our best efforts, DirecTV has rejected all of our proposals to renew our agreement," Viacom said, adding that the latest offer from the satellite broadcaster is for a lower rate than Viacom said it gets from any other distributor in the industry.

DirecTV, which has about 20 million subscribers around the country, countered that Viacom is being greedy. Viacom wants a 30% increase, or an additional $1 billion, to carry its channels, DirecTV said in a statement.

Although the current pact expires at midnight, DirecTV said it is willing to continue carrying the channels while the two sides negotiate, but Viacom has resisted that offer.

Fights over new agreements between programmers and distributors are commonplace in the industry. Typically, a deal is reached without viewers losing service, but it does happen on occasion. Satellite broadcaster Dish Network, for example, recently stopped carrying AMC and its sister channels as part of a dispute.

Besides Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon, other Viacom channels include Spike, VH1 and TV Land.

While negotiations appear stalled, later this week Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman and DirecTV chief Mike White will both be at the Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, so maybe they can get some alone time to hammer out a new deal.

From the LA Times Company Town Blog

Hollywood Industry News

'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay' release dates set, Nolan-free 'Justice League' raises questions for Warner DC films. Ouya console wants to go up against Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 3.Comcast sells stake in A&E Networks to Hearst, Disney for $3 billion

Christopher Nolan with the cast of the "Dark Knight Rises" at Grauman's Chinese Theater
Director Christopher Nolan, shown with the cast of "The Dark Knight Rises," has declined Warner Bros.' entreaties to produce a "Justice League" film. (Frederic J. Brown / July 10, 2012)
Warner Bros. will need a new hero to invigorate its DC Comics brand on the big screen, now that director Christopher Nolan’s successful Batman trilogy comes to an end with next week's "The Dark Knight Rises."

Home to such superheroes as Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, DC has struggled to find the same success on the big screen as its Walt Disney Co.-owned rival Marvel Entertainment — despite having a better known collection of characters.

Nolan's Batman movies have been its only hits of the past decade, surrounded by modest flops such as 2006's "Superman Returns". To continue reading this story on the LA Times Company Town Blog on-line, click More..
Elizabeth Banks and Jennifer Lawrence in "The Hunger Games"
The third and fourth movies in "The Hunger Games" series will be released in 2014 and 2015. Above, Elizabeth Banks, left, and Jennifer Lawrence in a scene from the first "Hunger Games," released in March. (Murray Close / Lionsgate / July 10, 2012)
Lionsgate plans to make its next three "Hunger Games" movies an annual event every November from 2013 through 2015.

The Santa Monica studio announced Tuesday that it will release "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1" on Nov. 21, 2014, and "Mockingjay Part 2" on Nov. 20, 2015. The company has already scheduled the second picture, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," for Nov. 22, 2013.

The news demonstrates how critical it has become for Hollywood studios to stake out the best release dates for their event movies as early as possible. "Mockingjay Part 2" now has the distinction of being scheduled the furthest into the future of any upcoming Hollywood picture, according to a release calendar supplied by Rentrak Corp.

Indeed, Lionsgate has announced the dates even before beginning production for "Catching Fire," which starts in September.

The weekend before Thanksgiving will now be Lionsgate's prime real estate for its teen-targeted book adaptations. This year it will release the final "Twilight" movie before beginning the run of "Hunger Games" films in 2013.

The first "Hunger Games" movie was released in March and went on to become a monster hit, grossing more than $400 million domestically and $273 million overseas.

Comcast will ride off with $3 billion
"Hatfields & McCoys" was a big hit for the History channel, one of the properties belonging to A&E Networks. (History )
Comcast Corp. has struck a deal to sell its minority stake in A&E Television Networks, whose holdings include cable channels A&E, History and Lifetime, for $3 billion.

While the sale was expected, the price tag was higher than Comcast thought its holdings were worth. Two months ago, when Comcast first disclosed that it had exercised an option to unload its 15.8% piece of A&E Television Networks to majority owners Walt Disney Co. and Hearst Corp., it said its stake was worth $2 billion.

For Hearst and Disney, now 50-50 partners, the property and the prospect of getting 100% of it made it more valuable. The channels -- particularly History, which last month struck ratings gold with its "Hatfields & McCoys" -- are strong properties and cash cows.

Although Comcast could have kept an ownership position in A&E Television Networks until 2024, the partnership gave it the option to reduce its stake or sell it entirely as well.

Ouya game console, as envisioned by product designer Yves Behar.

It's not often that a brand new company would attempt to take on giants such as Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, and rarer still that it would succeed.

But that's what Ouya (pronounced ooh-ya) proposes to do. The Los Angeles start-up wants to develop a game console that features the type of "free" games that are popular on smartphones and tablets but have been largely absent from living room televisions.
But Ouya needs more money to get its concept off the ground -- $950,000, to be exact. To continue reading click  More..

E! wants a new look. Silicon Valley reality? Comic-Con on in San Diego. Dish and Direct TV both face the loss of cable networks.

Suzanne Kolb
E! President Suzanne Kolb is giving the channel a makeover. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times / July 10, 2012)

Less trash, more class. E!, the cable network that gave us the Kardashians, wants to upgrade its image. No, it's not getting out of the Kardashian business, but it is going to try to broaden out by adding some more wholesome reality fare (is that an oxymoron?) as well as some scripted programming. "We found we needed to give people more of a reason to watch more of E!," said Suzanne Kolb, president of the channel. More on the makeover plans for E! from the Los Angeles Times.

The Skinny: I'm going to be numb all morning, so if I don't seem my usual happy self (I know, me happy?), that's why. Tuesday's headlines include E!'s plans to give itself a new image, a backlash against Bravo's new Silicon Valley reality show and some thoughts on Comic-Con, which gets going later this week.

Dish’s Hopper digital video recorder has an ad eraser. 
Daily Dose: Broadcast networks Fox, CBS and NBC won the first round of what will be a long fight with Dish Network over the satellite broadcaster's commercial-skipping feature called the AutoHop. A federal judge in New York sided with the networks, who wanted the case heard in California, and denied Dish's request for a declaratory ruling that the AutoHop does not violate copyright law.

Silicon Valley shenanigans. Bravo's plans to develop a reality show about the young and the geeky of Silicon Valley — produced by Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg's sister Randi no less — is starting to make the tech set nervous. Many techies fear that the show, tentatively called "Silicon Valley," will trivialize the tech capital and the young people looking to develop the next big app. Reality TV trivializing things? That doesn't sound accurate at all. The New York Times looks at the backlash.

Comic-Con pros and cons. Later this week, Hollywood and fanboys and girls descend on San Diego for Comic-Com, the once-quirky celebration of all things comic book that has now turned into an entertainment industry event. Movie and TV producers flock to Comic-Con to promote their products. At the same time, though, the event has lost some of its soul. Deadline Hollywood offers a look at the event.

Coming soon, HuffPost TV. Next month, the Huffington Post will launch its online network HuffPost Live with 12 hours of live programming daily. The network said it won't have traditional commercials but instead will weave sponsorship into the programming itself. Cadillac has signed up as the "launch sponsor." The Wall Street Journal on HuffPost Live's strategy.

The king of bad talent. Howard Stern is doing a good job as a judge on NBC's "America's Got Talent," but he's not getting much help from the show's other judges — Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel — or the folks competing on the show. USA Today looks at Stern's first season.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes said they've reached an agreement on a divorce. Julianna Margulies, star of "The Good Wife," is in a little bit of a legal drama with her former manager.

Follow me on Twitter. I make the mundane look fun.

From the LA Times Company Town Blog

Clean Green Historic Boulder City

Web information at this site is from the Boulder City Hotel, click here to go to the hotel's informative site.  
The Historic Boulder Dam Hotel1305 Arizona Street, Boulder City, Nevada 89005
Phone: (702) 293-3510
Fax: (702) 293-3093
Click here to Contact Us

Boulder City Chamber
465 Nevada Way
Boulder City, NV 89005
Phone : (702) 293-2034
Fax: (702) 293-0574
Web Site
The Boulder City Chamber of Commerce
is a voluntary group of men and women dedicated
to meeting the needs of the total community by
promoting business and commerce through
leadership in economic, political and s
ocial development. It is open to firms,
associations and individuals in good standing,
regardless of residence. Click here to access
our Calendar of Events and
see what's happening in Boulder City today!

Boulder City Golf Course
1 Clubhouse Dr.
Boulder City, NV 89005
Phone : (702) 293-9236
Fax: (702) 293-9237
Web Site
Located in Boulder City, home of the Hoover Dam,
this public course is shadowed by hundreds of large trees
and is home to large greens, wide open fairways
and two lakes. Reachable par-fives,
tricky par-threes and straightforward
par-fours allow golfers of all abilities to enjoy the layout.
A clubhouse, driving range and
lessons are available, and walking is allowed.

Boulder Creek Golf Club
1501 Veterans Memorial Dr.
Boulder City, NV 89005
Phone: (702) 294-6534
Fax: (702) 294-6536
Web Site
Boulder Creek is a new public 27-hole facility
designed by Mark Rathert, a fair and enjoyable
layout with six tees, created for golfers of every level.
Oasis-themed holes feature palm trees, beach bunkers,
lakes and waterfalls. Arroyos are artfully woven
into the fabric of the course. Desert holes are bordered
by the area's unique soft, playable sand.
With open fairways, no blind shots and no
hidden hazards,
Boulder Creek Golf Club offers great golf in a
great atmosphere. Can host either
a business meeting or a banquet
or both with or without golf and/or
food up to 450 people.

Black Canyon/Willow Beach
River Adventures
18000 US Highway 93
Boulder City, NV 89005
Phone: (702) 294-1414
Phone: (800) 455-3490
Web Site
Experience Black Canyon
Willow Beach River Adventures
through our narrated, smooth-water river
raft tour which
launches from the base of Hoover Dam,
featuring geology,
history, wildlife and a box lunch in
a souvenir cooler.

Bootleg Canyon Bike Trails
1021 Yucca St.
Boulder City, NV 89005
Phone: (702) 204-7810
Web Site
With names like "The Reaper," "Dominatrax,"
and "Armageddon," Bootleg Canyon's
series of trails
leaves little doubt as to why
mountain bike enthusiasts
are aiming their tires toward Boulder City.
Local mountain-biker and racer Brent Thomson
has created this maze of technical and scenic
trails just west of Boulder City in the
Southern Nevada desert. One of the most
extreme portions is in the aptly named
"Elevator Shaft" where bikers can fly down
a hillside that offers a 22 percent grade.

Cascata Golf Course
One Cascata Dr.
Boulder City, NV 89005
Phone: (702) 294-2005
Phone: (877) 464-6534
Fax: (702) 294-2080
Web Site
Golf course architect Rees Jones calls Cascata
the "Eighth Wonder of the Golf World".
Only 30 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip,
Cascata traverses over 450 acres and
600 feet of elevation change,
and features a 418-foot waterfall.
Enjoy extraordinary service and
a luxurious clubhouse.
Recent recognitions include
"America's Top 100 Modern Courses"
in Golfweek and "Top 45 Courses in
the past 45 years" from Golf Magazine.

Boulder City Outfitters
1631 Industrial Rd.
Boulder City, NV 89005
Phone: (702) 293-1190
Phone: (800) 748-3702
Fax: (702) 293-1226
Web Site
Choose your adventure through
Boulder City Outfitters.
Guided tours include activities
ranging from kayaking
on Lake Mead, guided tours
on ATV's, mountain biking trips,
and backcountry hiking trips.

Bootleg Canyon Flightlines
1512 Industrial Rd.
Boulder City, NV 89005
Phone: (702) 293-6885
Web Site
Soar from mountaintops with a bird's eye view of the desert below
with the new Bootleg Canyon Flightlines. Just outside Boulder City,
Flightlines offers visitors a grand, breathtaking "zip-line"
view of the area's desert ecosystem. You will be hanging
in a comfortable Para-gliding harness as you zip along
a system of cables at more than 50 miles per hour at points.
Enjoy the scenery with a qualified guide in this
2.5 hour tour package. Best of all, the tour is
eco-friendly and doesn't disturb the natural
environment below! Get outside and
experience the thrill of Bootleg Canyon Flightlines.

Boulder City/Hoover Dam
1305 Arizona St.
Boulder City, NV 89005
Phone: (702) 294-1988
Fax: (702) 294-4380
Web Site
Social and economic history of Hoover Dam/Boulder City
construction and the Great Depression.
Open Mon - Sat 10 am - 5 pm, Sun 12 pm - 5 pm.
Admission. Closed on Mothers' Day,
Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, New Year's Day
and Easter Sunday.

Desert Adventures
1647 Nevada Hwy., Ste. A
Boulder City, NV 89005
Phone: (702) 293-5026
Web Site
Choose Desert Adventures for great kayaking
trips in the Las Vegas area. Kayak and
canoe trips in the Lake Mead National Recreation
area are a great way to experience the
desert environment of the Colorado River
and Southwestern states.

Hoover Dam
P.O. Box 60400
Boulder City, NV 89006
Phone: (702) 494-2517
Fax: (702) 494-2587
Web Site
Operating Hours: Open 9am - 6pm Pacific Time Zone.
The Hoover Dam Tour Center is open every day
of the year except Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The Visitor Center is open from 9am - 6pm.
Tickets sold until 5:15pm. Recommend visitors
arrive by 3pm. Pedestrians are prohibited
on top of the dam during hours of darkness.
Fee: Adults (ages 17-61) $11.00;
Seniors (62+) $9.00; Juniors (ages 4-16) $9.00,
Military and Dependents (adults & seniors) $9.00,
Children (ages 0-3) Free. Parking $7.00.

Grand Canyon Airlines
1265 Airport Rd.
Boulder City, NV 89015
Phone: (702) 835-8484
Phone: (866) 235-9422
Web Site
In continuous operation since 1927,
Grand Canyon Airlines (GCA) pioneered air tours
at Grand Canyon and has flown millions of passengers
for close to eighty years. GCA offers the perfect
variety of Grand Canyon airplane tours and
activities to make for a complete Grand Canyon experience.
Sharing the Canyon with you, GCA recognizes
their responsibility to do it in the safest and least
intrusive way possible, aboard their exclusive
ultra-quiet fleet of Vistaliner aircraft. GCA has
extensive experience in customizing charters
and handling extremely challenging logistical itineraries.
They specialize in organizing special charters
for VIP incentive groups, corporation reward programs,
and destination management companies.

Lake Mead Cruises
P.O. Box 62465
Boulder City, NV 89006
Phone: (702) 293-6180
Fax: (702) 293-0343
Web Site
Cruise Lake Mead Daily. Y
ear-round sightseeing aboard
"Desert Princess" Paddle wheeler.
Meal cruises and charters
and boat buyouts available.

Lake Mead Resort Marina
322 Lake Shore Rd.
Boulder City, NV 89005
Phone: (702) 293-3484
Phone: (800) 752-9669
Fax: (702) 293-3835
Web Site
Lake Mead Resort Marina includes the following facilities;
motel, marina, floating restaurant, lounge, fishing,
patio boats, store, dock and launch ramp.
Marina and boat rentals are available.
Group area is also available, maximum capacity 400.

Papillon Helicopters
1265 Airport Rd.
Boulder City, NV 89015
Phone: (702) 736-7243
Phone: (888) 635-7272
Fax: (702) 736-0099
Web Site
Since 1965, Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters has
been providing visitors a privileged perspective to
one of the world's greatest natural wonders.
Papillon flies the entire Grand Canyon,
including areas untouched by man and inaccessible by foot.
As the one of the world's oldest and
largest sightseeing companies,
Papillon flies an estimated 600,000 passengers
a year on its daily tours to the Grand Canyon
and the surrounding southwest. Recognized
worldwide for its aircraft tours, Papillon's fleet
of 48 helicopters gives guests a bird's eye view all their own.
Whether by helicopter, plane, or coach,
Papillon offers over 40 unique excursions.
Choose from air only flights, combo tours,
all-day excursions, or a stunning flight
to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
at the Havasupai Village.

Hiking Trail
River Mountains
Boulder City, NV
Phone: (702) 365-2191
Web Site
This long loop winds through the
quaint 1930s town of Boulder City
and quickly escapes to the more
primitive desert surrounding the River Mountains.
To the east are views of Lake Mead
with several places to pause,
catch your breath and admire the scenery.
The trail then winds through Henderson before
returning to Boulder City.
Begin in either Boulder City or Henderson.

Nevada Southern Railway
600 Yucca St.
Boulder City, NV 89006
Phone: (702) 486-5006
Fax: (702) 486-5901
Web Site
Excursion train rides depart from the Nevada
Southern Railway station (off Yucca Street)
and travels 3.5 miles west along the historic
Boulder Branch Line to Railroad Pass located
within the River Mountains range.
The round trip (7 miles) lasts
approximately forty-five minutes in
duration where passengers will be able
ride in newly refurbished (air conditioned)
Pullman Coaches dating back to 1911.
The train is scheduled to run on every
Saturday and Sunday. Please visit website
for exact times and admission prices.
Group charters are available.

Scenic Airlines
1265 Airport Rd.
Boulder City, NV 89005
Phone: (702) 638-3300
Phone: (800) 634-6801
Fax: (702) 638-3275
Web Site
Since their first flight in 1967, Scenic Airlines
has become an established company in Las Vegas
and the Grand Canyon. So much so that over
10 million customers have come aboard.
Setting a high standard for
aerial sightseeing tour operators,
Scenic's tours showcase the most impressive
landscapes and the rich beauty of the southwest,
which calls out to people all over the world.
Ranging from one-hour sightseeing flights,
to three-day, two-night programs, Scenic offers
over 20 unique tours for anyone looking to relax
or go on an adventure. Scenic also specializes
in developing unique customized tours for
groups, companies, or incentive programs.
Scenic Airlines can arrange
the perfect itinerary.

SkyDive Las Vegas
1401 Airport Rd.
Boulder City, NV 89005
Phone: (702) 759-3483
Phone: (800) 875-9348
Fax: (702) 293-5684
Web Site
Nevada's skydiving center
for 14 years running.
Tandem Skydive from
over 2 miles high at 120 MPH
for 60 Seconds, then enjoy
a scenic and peaceful 5
minute parachute ride.
You can see the entire
Las Vegas Valley, the Strip, Lake mead,
Hoover Dam, Colorado River & more!
Free Shuttle, Free Ground Training.
Video and Pictures available.
The best instructors, the best planes,
the best view and the highest altitude.
Student training program available.
Open 7 days a week all year long.
Located at the Boulder City Airport.

Stars and Stripes Air Tours
907 Walnut Dr.
Boulder City, NV 89005
Phone: (702) 736-4422
Phone: (888) 779-0800
Fax: (702) 633-5180
Web Site

This blog receives no fund from advertisers or for referrals. This is posted because I live in Boulder City and feel that more people should explore what it has to offer. Only a half hour from downtown Las Vegas or the Strip, fifteen minutes from Henderson.
Stars and Stripes Air Tours realize
that efficient
service and attention to detail are
of paramount
importance in making our clients
tour a complete success.
We offer a complete range of tours
including the
Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, and
of coarse our
famous Magic Neon Nights Tour
over the
Las Vegas Strip. We currently
have one
of the longest running
night tours in and
around the Las Vegas Strip,
and the
downtown area. Family
owned and operated
for more than 30 years,
Stars and Stripes
Air Tours is a premier provider of the
highest quality helicopter and airplane
tours in and around
Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon.